“I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president." - Former VP Mike Pence
Join the Indivisible Truth Brigade
Last week the Republican National Committee described the January 6 assault on the US Capital as "ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse," and Trump's renewed lies about what his Vice President might have done to keep him in office prompted the quote above. The volume and variety of deliberate political disinformation has probably never been higher than right now.
The Indivisible Truth Brigade is a nationwide effort to counter the flood of bad information poisoning public discourse. To learn more, click here to sign up for their February Zoom - Wednesday, Feb 9, at 4:30 pm.
Tracye Polson - Countdown to Election Day
If you've already voted by mail in the special election to fill At-Large Council seat #3, remember to check here to be sure your vote's been counted. If you're waiting to vote in person, early voting begins this Saturday, Feb 12. The Polson campaign wants to attract attention with as much sign-waving at the polls as possible on that first day. If this is something you can do, contact the Polson Campaign directly by emailing Tyler Ennis, Other ways you can help:
Two Duval Redistricting Hearings Still Ahead
As JAX Today reported last Friday, "The public response to new maps for City Council voting districts remains overwhelmingly negative, with not a single resident speaking in support of the proposed boundaries across two public meetings — the most recent one last night."
Members of BAM, and progressive partners including DWIN, Mandarin Indivisible, NOW, the ACLU, 904WARD, and Duval Dems attended the first two meetings, raising important questions and offering strong recommendations for reform. There are still two more public hearings which people can attend:
• February 10th at 6:00 PM at First Coast High School
• February 17th at 6:00 PM at William Raines High School
The more different voices speak out, the better. Each speaker is allowed just 3 minutes to comment or ask questions. Resources to help us prepare include the JAX Tributary's Redistricting Primer and the Citizen's Guide prepared by DWIN, BAM, and other local groups. If you can't attend, you can follow the action in real time via Live Stream. And The Tributary is hosting a WhatsApp Group to provide live Q&A while the hearing is in session.
This Week in Tallahassee
For the most complete and timely information on bills moving through the session, sign up for the UUJF's Action Alerts. And here are some specific bills that deserve your attention this week:
Tuesday, Feb 8 - Reject the Nomination of Dr. Ladapo as FL Surgeon General. Click here for more info and suggested script.
Tuesday, Feb 8 - Protect Soil & Water Districts. The Senate Ethics & Elections Committee will vote on SB 1087 which could gut Soil & Water Districts, endanger conservation efforts statewide, and undercut recreational preserves like Guana. Click here for more info and write or call now.
Protect Florida Classrooms from Censorship
The Florida House Judiciary Committee passed HB 7, a censorship bill that amplifies the effort to ban honest dialogue about race in schools and work environments. It also encourages lawsuits against businesses that refuse to follow the proposed speech restrictions. A similar bill, HB 1557, that restricts classroom discussions about gender and LGBTQ rights issues, is also advancing through the state legislature.
• Write or call FL Rep. Cord Byrd.
• Suggested Script adapted from one created by Mandarin Indivisible:
I am a constituent very concerned about House Bills 7 & 1557. Both bills rob students and educators of their ability to freely speak on issues of race and gender. I oppose suppressing any part of American history –– or stifling educators in their roles. I believe education should encourage students to ask questions and engage with the real world. I also believe trying to erase LGBTQ+ history and culture would be a huge step backward for our state and harmful to many young people Please oppose this attack on learning. Vote NO on HB 7 and HB 1557.
BAM's Letters to the Editor Group Rocks!
BAM's talented and growing Letters to the Editor group started less than a year ago and has already successfully placed more than 30 letters in the Beaches Leader & Florida Times Union. In this era of poisonous political dialogue, these smart, cogent letters on a wide range of subjects have helped elevate our community conversation - while raising worthy questions about racism, Covid policy, environmental protection and a host of local political issues.
The group welcomes new voices. To join now, email us here. If you'd like some hands-on training before you start, the leaders of our Statewide Indivisible Network are offering an online LTE workshop this Wednesday, Feb 9, at 10 a.m. focusing on some of our priority issues like redistricting and Medicaid expansion Click here to register. Meet like-minded progressives from around the state - and leave the session with your first LTE complete!
No BAM Meeting this Week - Come to Our Joint Zoom with Mandarin Indivisible on 2/24
As we explained last month, while Covid keeps us from meeting in person, BAM and Mandarin Indivisible are experimenting with joint Zoom meetings. A chance to pool our resources in attracting speakers who might not be able to attend in person - and to combine the energy and ideas of our members. Hope you can join us!